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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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WILLIAM  VOy   HU^EBOLDT.                   259
After the summer of 1789? 'Huniboldt was rarely
In Gottingen, but spent his time in longer and shorter
journeys iii and out of Germany* He visited Hano-
ver, where he -was personally known, principally -with
the intention of meeting with Fiiedrich Jacobi, and
spent five days here very pleasantly, visiting few
families, and passing the principal portion of his time
•with Jacob! and other eminent men residing in
Hanover.
In such consideration and intimate relation stood
the youth of twenty-two, "with men who at that time
were foremost in the i^nks of literature and science.
His letters contain an inexhaustible treasure of cha-
racteristic sketches and of unfailing judgment, of
which, however, our space forbids an extended inser-
tion-, and it must snffi.ee if we merely point to them
as the best evidences of the greatness of the man.
"Very soon greater events than literary debates in
the lively circles of a small German town were to
occupy our hero. The political crisis in France had
arrived, and the revolution commenced. The victory
of the people was decided b}r the taking of the
Bastille.
Few in Germany had anticipated and watched the
state of things in France with greater enthusiasm than
Campe, the first tutor of "William and Alexander von
Humboldt. He had been living for some time in
Brunswick, "where he had an. agreeable official post,
and? at the same time, presided over a bookselling
establishment, and gained an increasing popularity
as author of many juvenile books and accounts of
travels. He frequently travelled for the benefit of his
health^ and now determined to proceed to Paris, to be
present at the funeral of French despotism. He was
soon ready, and found a travelling companion in
William von. Humboldt, for whom it was of great
interest to see Paris at this period, especially under
such favourable auspices.
Campe has published an account of this journey in,
letters to his daughter, from which we shall quote.
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